Thoughts on current events re: Voting and Palin

In a forum discussion at school, someone had asked what we thought about Palin’s nomination. I thought I would post my comments here as well.

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#1. I actually don’t have the first post, but I basically suggested that the men read this article found at Vision Forum entitled:

Should Christians Support a Woman for the Office of Civil Magistrate?

The article is by William Einwechter (Th.M.) who is an ordained minister and an elder at Immanuel Free Reformed Church in Ephrata, Pennsylvania. He and his wife, Linda, are the homeschooling parents of ten children.

What I did not have the opportunity to post is his most recent article:

Sarah Palin and the Complementarian Compromise

Also weighing in were 2 articles by Voddie Baucham

Did McCain Make a Pro-Family VP Pick?

Barack Obama:  A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

Fun, fun.

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#2. After the argument shifted from Palin’s qualifications to how we couldn’t vote for the immoral Democrats because they support abortion, I posted this. Now understand I am not a Democrat, nor do I support most of their socialist policies.  But Christians have become so influenced by party politics that there is not much thinking anymore.

It seems that the argument has shifted; Seth and I brought up Palin’s lack of qualifications, not the morality of voting against the Democrats. Maybe we can leave “women in office” on the shelf for now and entertain your concerns about voting in this upcoming election.

If I understand your comments correctly, you are saying:

Voting carries with it a moral obligation, therefore when voting in this election cycle, we really only have one choice – the GOP ticket – because they are against abortion, making them the moral choice.

If this is what you are saying then I would have to agree with you regarding your presupposition. The RPCNA Testimony states:

“God has assigned to people, both individually and collectively, the responsibility for establishing and maintaining civil government, and the people are accountable to Jesus Christ for the proper exercise of this responsibility.”

Therefore voting does carry with it a moral obligation, however, it is precisely because of this moral obligation that I would caution us to reconsider some of our conclusions concerning politics in the US.

I really can’t post nor defend a theology of the Civil Magistrate here (how tedious and unfair to anyone bothering to read), yet I can summarize 3 immediate thoughts.

First thought: We have been decieved into believing a few lies.

Lie #1. Republicans are conservatives and Democrats are liberals.
These terms are completely relativized by the current moral landscape of our country, but if we search for what both parties think about Christ’s authority and law, we will find that neither party bases their platform on owning such truth. Our ethics classes cover a host of moral issues that are involved in the political arena, not to mention the unethical usurpation of power where the civil government has none (i.e., our families, other nations, federal imposition over state jurisdiction – all “Police-state tactics” which the GOP ticket has created quite a reputation for. Its almost inevitable, whoever’s in the White House is more prone to the pressures and temptations of corruption).

The fact is abortion is not the only moral issue that we face today. What is really sad is that the Church has become more fragmented over its political convictions, so that you are either a liberal Christian or Conservative Christian based upon whether you support Democrats or Republicans. Where does it say that we are to be influenced by the winds of the world? The Christian Right has not influenced the party, but instead we have been dragged into party politics.

Lie #2. We can only vote for one of two parties, even if it means choosing the lesser of 2 evils.
Seth already addressed this, suffice it to say, if the choice is an evil choice, then it is an immoral choice. In our particular voluntary election system we can actually write in who we think meets the requirements to hold the office. Granted, our write-in will most likely not win the election, but again, we have a moral obligation to vote according to the Word of God. If we were in a country where we were forced to vote for an evil candidate many Christians would (and have historically) dissented from the political morass.

The reality is we have lost sight of what the Civil Magistrate is to do. He is to reward good and punish evil, but if he cannot even define good and evil (i.e. general equity found in God’s moral law), how can he administer such social compensation?

Lie #3. The moral party is the Republican party because it spreads the message of freedom and democracy throughout the oppressive nations of this world.
See above re: “police state”. The only thing that needs to be spread throughout this world is the message of the Gospel and how the nations need the influence of Christ’s authority and law!

In substance both parties are morally bankrupt on multiple levels. To demonstrate this more objectively, consider the 10 commandments and see how both parties line up with God’s Law.

Second thought: There are necessary requirements one must meet to qualifiy for service in a civil office.

This would be where I say that no woman is qualified to run for civil office because it is not within her scope of roles or duties. Her having a newborn at home is a moot but telling matter of fact – most issues in politics are distractions from the real issues. See the unanswered article I linked earlier about women in office.

Third thought: The authority and law of Christ is the only legitimate rule to direct our political views and actions.

This may sound like a “duh” statement, but it seems like the Church has not really thought through the implications of this truth (myself included). For your consideration I will post the Westminster Standards/Belgic Confession in the next post, with the Testimony of the RPCNA re: the ordinance of the Civil Magistrate. If you have any disagreements, I’d be interested in your thoughts.

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9 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Danielle Graham on Tuesday: September 09, 2008 at 6:10 PM

    “This would be where I say that no woman is qualified to run for civil office because it is not within her scope of roles or duties.”

    This statement grieves my soul.

    Reply

  2. Shawn,

    Thank you for your post and time in writing this out very well. I agree with your points.

    I especially agree that to vote for the lesser of two evils is still voting for evil, something that a Christian ought NEVER to do!

    Can you imagine?

    What do we Christians think? that the nation’s salvation is in the political system? How IDOLATROUS!!

    It does not matter which party wins if neither will submit to the Law of God to guide them in determining how to mete out justice against evil and protect the good…this failure leads to a degree of tyranny and idolatry.

    I also am glad that you have stated the Biblical position that women cannot be a civil magistrate / official, even though the modern fad is contrary to the Word of God.

    My soul is refreshed by your words.

    Thank you my brother!

    No king but Christ!

    Reply

  3. Posted by Danielle Graham on Tuesday: September 09, 2008 at 11:26 PM

    WWKDJECUTS?

    (What ‘worldly’ king did Jesus ever command us to save?)

    I hate to break it to ya, but Christians do not own the rights to morality. If the conscience which tells even the most godless of person’s the difference between right and wrong, then Christians must concede to the notion that we are the only one’s who are able to judge right and wrong when it comes to foreign and domestic concerns, and laws of the land.

    I mean where do you draw the line? Should police officers who are required to enforce and uphold the law also be required to sign on the dotted line of all your creeds and confessions? How about lawyers, or judges?

    Also, God’s gift of my vagina does not dictate what is within my “scope of roles and or duties.” In fact, I am physically unable to have children, and I am not married. What does that mean for me? Am I without role or duty? Am I without purpose?

    Who knows, maybe I am to blame for my single and childless dilemma. Maybe all this assertive talk and higher education I have pursued has formed a rebellious nature that I must repent from, lest I be burned at the stake!

    Your theology forces me and many other women to either suspend all logic, faith, and trust, regarding my (our) own skills, pursuits, gifts, and communally supported discernment, or give in to your supposed pre-determined roles that our minds, hearts, spirits, and sometimes bodies, know is a bunch of bullshit.

    Reply

  4. Heh still provocative as ever Shawn, even if you’re not a Covenanter anymore. :)

    I agree Danielle. This sort of hyper-patriarchal, male chauvinist model of society as advocated by John Knox and others, doesn’t make a lot of sense outside the narrow confines of one’s small religious circle where the women accept this arrangement. You would be one of the outsiders in this society, doubly-displaced by not being the property of another man (as wife or daughter), and by not being a mother. Third strike would indeed be your ‘willful’ ‘feminist’ mind-set. Fourth if you dare TALK about it with other women (‘fomenting rebellion’). Probably Shawn’s ideal society wouldn’t execute you, you would instead by legally ostracized and exiled to live out among the heathen barbarians Anne-Hutchinson-style for all your pseudo-crimes.

    As a matter of fact, I know Shawn did at one point (and might still) advocate that all police, judges, politicians, and government employees by required to be members in good standing of the State Church and believe and uphold the Westminster Confession, or any modern version that would supercede that (but in no way loosen or liberalize it). Its striking to me how totalitarian and Inquisition-like that is now, whereas I think I once thought it compatible with a Protestant-form of limited government! Full-disclosure: I once shared his views on this, but I am better now.

    Reply

  5. Posted by Danielle Graham on Thursday: September 11, 2008 at 12:05 PM

    Dear Chris,

    Thanks for your response. My blood pressure has now returned to a normal level.

    I am glad you are better now ;-.)

    Reply

  6. Chris,

    Shawn is still a Covenanter. He is just not sectarian anymore.
    But…. always controversial!

    Reply

  7. Huh. Lots of heat, little dialogue, little Biblical testimony. If this is all the steam people are going to produce, maybe I should just turn the comments off.

    But thanks for visiting, none-the-less. I’ll refer you to the articles I posted earlier.
    -S

    Reply

  8. Posted by Danielle Graham on Friday: September 12, 2008 at 1:46 PM

    Biblical testimony? Geez Louise, even the KKK uses biblical testimony to “prove” their points. I refuse to participate in an exchange of posturing my biblical arsenal up against yours. It hasn’t worked throughout history, I sure as heck don’t think this instance is going to be much different.

    You see your preferred texts as prescriptive, I don’t. So what would be the point of going there?

    And while this steamless “attempt” at dialogue is so easily and arrogantly dismissed, so is any rational thought regarding the fact that if it were not for women in church leadership (ordained or not, recognized or not) the church as we know it would not exist.

    When Martha called upon Jesus to justify her unhappiness over Mary’s decision to skip out on her “womanly duties” Jesus reminds Martha that Mary chose the better option by sitting at the feet of Jesus, learning from her teacher.

    One can only speculate what Mary was to do with the knowledge Jesus shared with her. Should we assume she was to wash the dishes with it, or change her babies diapers with it? Or maybe she was supposed to hold it deep within her heart to prevent injuring or tainting her husbands debilitating egotistical pride.

    Who knows.

    I do know that I do not pursue being a leader, teacher, minister…it pursues me. I’ve tried to let it go BELIEVE ME. So, no amount of your proof texting or misogynist theologians’ viewpoints or articles can compete with that.

    Reply

  9. Danielle wrote:

    “I refuse to participate in an exchange of posturing my biblical arsenal up against yours.”

    Huh.

    I thought many liberals (yes, a person who advocates women in church office and civil office is liberal) go around telling conservatives who did not like what they saw on TV or heard on the radio, to just change the channel.

    You read Shawn’s blog entry and responded. Now that he responded to you you get all upset? You could have not responded and went elsewhere, but you didn’t. Now you did not like his response, fine, but to have a fit about it is no way to dialogue, now is it?

    If you believe that the Word of God is the final authority to our faith and practice, then you and all of us are to appeal to it to make the final decision on all matters of life.

    ALL matters.

    2 Corinthians 10:3-5

    “…bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.”

    So then if the Word of God prohibits women from civil and ecclesiastical office, then WE must submit to that (even though our modern times states that women can do anything men can). If the Word of God states that we must bless those who curse us, then WE must submit to that (even though it goes against our mode of thought).

    But if we believe that the Word of God is interpreted by modern opinions or by the mass of society, then the Word of God is not worthy to be called His Word. It lacks all authority and we cannot ultimately submit to it, since it is man that is really the final arbiter of Truth, not the Word of God.

    Either God is King and His Word the final authority in all things and we can do nothing but submit to it.

    OR

    He is not King and His Word is not final and we humans rule.
    Such rule only leads to destruction.

    Women have a very important role and men do as well. The sun has its role and so does the moon.

    God created this universe, with each of His creation doing its part. Chaos / rebellion ensues when a created thing seeks to do that which it was not created to do.

    Reply

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